Thursday 31 October 2019


Into the Land Lab 

Curated by Erwin Kessler

November 9 – December 18, 2019
Opening: November 9., 6 – 9 pm

The work of Alexandru Chira is a systematic and exhaustive mapping of a fictitious field of research. It is about a shamanic domain stretching up from the skies down to the earth, through spiritually conjuring rain. Like a command & control center for meteo-aesthetic, metaphysic phenomena, his works (paintings, drawings, objects) lie here, on the walls, lavishly exhibiting their makeshift buttons, screens, keyboards and toggles. It is a sophisticated but rigorous morpho-aesthetic instrumentary apparently dedicated to effectively influence meteorology and atmospheric physics. Beholders could touch, switch, and press the buttons with their eyes. Yet, mastering weather forecast and climatological phenomena is rather the metaphorical cover of a more deeper endeavor, designed to master minds, mentalities, and proliferating imaginary. Chira developed a psycho-pictorial lab of advanced, vague technologies of chimerical research. Maybe they do not change external climate condition, but they boost internal elation.

The poetically displaced scientism of Alexandru Chira’s painting is grounded on a mystical animism mesmerized by the natural forces turned into totems and symbols. Offspring of a peasant family, Chira worked in his art lab the same way peasants work the field: he sowed symbols in the paintings, sometimes grafted them to engender new semiotic ensembles and then harvested and gathered everything into painted containers of various shape and size. His symbolic art-farming is literally down-to-earth, extracted from the works, the tools and the seasons of the agricultural world, transfigured by turning them on their poetic side. Ploughing and sowing is art, work and creativity. Rain is revelation, happiness and fertility. Snake is sex, wisdom, and death. Safety pin is vulva, eye, and infant. Hill is breast, church and UFO too. His work is visual but also lexical, the symbols working like a poetic/mystical language, articulating sentences like The Winged Spindle – Study for a Stereopoem, The Suspended Village – Study for a Stereopoem, The Rose of the Senses, The Winged Lamp – Study for a Telepoem. These are not only the titles of some of the exhibited works, but the proper content of the works, seen as a self-conscious language of visual symbols functioning in a semantic manner.

Astral and earthly at the same time, the work of Alexandru Chira is disconcerting because mixing up inputs from apparently disconnected, in-communicating universes and cultural idioms. Besides the fundamental, field-work related paraphernalia, he brought into his lab elements taken from a rhapsodic reconstruction of geometry, from speculative astronomy, and even from a surface-focused understanding of chemistry. Frequently, his works have curious, diamond shapes like lozenges, resembling the scientific, conventional formulas of aromatic hydrocarbs (like vinyl or fenyl). His interest in biology is reflected in the many figure-like constructions, in which intricate symbols and abstract shapes combine to show transparent human faces, with mouths, eyes and noses. Investigating the ritual impact of twins and re-doubled works make also part from Chira’s own para-scientific protocols suggesting a world of enigmatic relationships and correspondences.

The Land Lab of Chira is provided with peculiar instruments of researching inner skies via his poetic, cosmo-geo-mystics. As the instruments are consummate paintings, their doubtful scientific findings are surpassed by their alluring, aesthetic charisma.

Erwin Kessler, curator

Friday 18 October 2019


right: Helga Goetze: Zur Welt kommen ist zur Sprache kommen, undated Archive #009, mixed media, 23 × 29 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Delmes & Zander, Cologne; left: Helga Goetze: Ficken Lieben Frieden undated Archive #008, mixed media, 30 × 23 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Delmes & Zander, Cologne; photo: Johannes Post

Moritz Scheper writes in his article "What Helga Goetze’s Tapestries Teach Us About Sexual Liberation" for Frieze:

"(...) Consisting of tapestries, collages and protest signs, Goetze’s current exhibition ‘Ficken ist Frieden’ (Fucking is Peace) at Delmes & Zander in Cologne is the first to provide an overview of her various artistic practices and their links to her sex-positive activism, revealing the cosmos behind ‘Germany’s super-bitch’, as she called herself with reference to a tabloid headline. (...)"

Read the full article here

Wednesday 9 October 2019


Dietrich Orth: Krankenhaus - Nationalsozialismus, 1987, acrylic on canvas, 161,8 x 104,5 cm

FIAC Paris
October 17 – 20, 2019
FIAC, Grand Palais / Booth 1.J18

Delmes & Zander is delighted to show a one-man exhibition with works by Dietrich Orth (*1956 – 2018). The gallery first showed the artist's work in 1989. David Zwirner dedicated a solo exhibition to the self-taught artist in New York in 1994, Kasper König at the Portikus Frankfurt 1997. And yet Orth's work defies clear categorization and can at best be situated in the equivocal territory which Roberta Smith once termed as Conceptional Outsider Art. His bold-coloured large-format canvasses are at once a register of abstract concepts, spiritual concerns, and excruciatingly authentic personal experience. After years of struggling with clinical psychosis, Orth discontinued painting, leaving behind an emotionally complex microcosm of rare beauty.
Orth started painting in his late twenties. From here on he developed a unique imagery and peculiar syntax that functions as a vehicle of therapy for the actively involved viewer: an interplay between representation, text and the artist's own mental performance. Orth's texts are essentially instructional and function both as titles and quasi-mystical diagrams, the visual correspondence to a physical state that transcends merely personal and curative concerns. They may provide the viewer with instructions on how to “walk exhilarated and lightheartedly” on his heels or prompt him to stand at 80 cm from the canvas so as to experience the “pleasant mood” emanated by the visualization of a certain image, or, as the contemplation of another work assures, to “feel like a newborn person.”
As such, Orth's paintings can be seen as an investigation on body language, the effects of psychopharmaceutical medication and the study of a wide range of emotional landscapes and states of mind broken down to illustrated and structured processes of experience.
Works by the artist have been recently shown in 2018 at the mumok Vienna in Optik Schröder II and at the MONA Tasmania Australia in Museum of Everything.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

THE ELECTRIC EYE with works from the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection

Agatha Wojciechowsky. Photo: André Rocha

with works from the Treger/Saint Silvestre Collection

October 11, 2019 – January 5, 2020 

"THE ELECTRIC EYE, curated by Antonia Gaeta and Pilar Soler, revolves around a series of works that use the artistic language to reveal an enigmatic journey, a to-ing and fro-ing between several dimensions or between a visible and an invisible reality. Encrypted messages using cosmological structures provide a glimpse into diverse realities and worlds, often deliberately dark and characterised by complex iconographies.

The key to these works resides in the meeting between forms and meanings that bring together tutelary entities and figures. It is a project about the mystery in meanings and hidden presences. The exhibition dramatises these elements as transient memories, materialised as multiple, complex realities, specific calculations, pyramids of power, apathies abated with the concretion of a visionary mission.

Above all, the show presents visitors with a provocative impossibility: the inability to decipher the entire message behind the works, because in many cases the artists act as mediators between the rational world and another unknown or transcendental world. The works therefore become narratives of the subconscious, inadvertently assuming aspects that subvert the established. Through a variety of coded messages, formulas, invented figures and secret codes, they question the limits of reason. There is always some hidden aspect that becomes an enigma and emerges as the only possible space of liberation in the face of its pathological condition. Conceived on these lines, the exhibition demonstrates the power of subjective processes, compulsive obsessions and fantastical visions. (...)"

For further information please visit:

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Installation view of 'HAUS' / HORST ADEMEIT among others at DREI

Installation images of 'HAUS' at DREI, Cologne. Photos: Simon Vogel
'HAUS' at DREI is co-curated with Cédric Eisenring and featuring work by Horst Ademeit, Rosa Aiello, Henri Chopin, Whitney Claflin, Cédric Eisenring, Tobias Madison, Sam Pulitzer and Julia Scher.
The Show is on view until October 26.

For more information about the exhibition and the gallery please visit: